Dealing with our parents stuff.
Claudia Buck of the Sacramento Bee published an article in the Seattle Times entitled “Boomers need help dealing with their parents ‘stuff’; basically a how to downsize your parents’ belongings. The statistics are clear; the parents of the baby boomers, generally in their 80’s and 90’s are passing on and leaving behind a lifetime of stuff to their children. Most of us don’t need an article to remind us that this “stuff” can become quite a dilemma for the family. If we have not already inherited our own parents “stuff” we certainly have enough of our own to know it’s everywhere. Lining closets, stored in boxes, crammed in attics and garages, our material lives take up considerable space.
Professional Organizers are featured in the article as their services are often enlisted to help sort, organize, and dispose of the accumulation… DISPOSE??? Yes, sometimes in the literal sense as boxes, furniture, and pounds of ephemera end up in dumpsters and charity bins across the country. Other times items are simply pared down and re-stored with the promise to “go through this stuff soon” but sometimes “soon” never comes and the boxes get passed down again. Of course we cannot expect to save everything, especially things we know little about, but that is exactly the point. Someone, at some point knew about that stuff, what it meant, and why it was saved in the first place. The things we amass help tell the story of who we were, what life meant to us, and what mattered to us.
If you find yourself dealing with your parents stuff, remember, part of that stuff is your history too. Ideally we can make time to discuss and document the memories before we find ourselves sifting through a garage filled with things. Remember, you too should be Saving History…because your story if priceless.